Unrecipe of the Week

In Pursuit of the Lettuce-less Salad

Lately, I have grown weary of lettuce.  I tend to eat salad for lunch and dinner and last week I hit the wall. Although I vary the selection of greens, at the end of the day, lettuce is still lettuce.

This week, I have been experimenting with new combinations in the pursuit of the lettuce-less salad. The goal is to find filling, healthy alternatives for the base, and build around that. I try to stay low fat and low carb, while still getting a balance of protein and vegetables.

I have experimented with a base of chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes, mixed with steamed green beans, broccoli florets or roasted zucchini.  The previous night’s dinner often plays a role in my choices. I try to toss in some kind of bean such as cannellini, kidney or garbanzo.  A little low fat cheese, such as feta, goat or even shredded Parmesan adds flavor. I have found that a few chopped Kalamata olives give the salad a salty tang. Roasted red peppers or some corn add color and texture.

If the ingredients are right, a little extra virgin olive oil and lime juice is enough to bring the flavors out without drowning them in dressing and calories. Although anything goes, here is one of my favorites so far:

Chopped mini Heirloom tomatoes in various colors

Green beans, lightly steamed, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces

Cannellini beans, rinsed

Feta cheese, crumbled

Corn

Chopped Kalamata olives

Roasted red peppers

Olive oil

Lime juice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Sprinkle with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss.

Enjoy!

Note: According to my “Lose It” iphone app, this salad was only 215 calories! Of course, serving size plays a role in this number.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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